I would first like to say that I have read the 180 pages for this report and can
save you the trouble of reading it and say that there is nothing here that past
and present councils or staff did not know. This is another product of a requirement
from the provincial government.
This plan had to be filed with them by the end of 2013. All the information in it
was already available from staff; they just created 180 pages of real neat graphs
and pie charts and spread sheets to impress. The provincial government requires
these things for grant purposes. BUT NOW what this does do is when
staff are doing budget deliberations, they can say to council "LOOK what the experts
say", and when council is setting your tax bill and water rates they can say "LOOK
what the experts say". I don't know about about now, but in my day that was called
"cover your ass."
If you should go to page 177 of this report, you will see it has a note that will
tell you our municipality's infrastructure deficit is smaller than most other municipalities
in Ontario; in fact, we are doing very well in that department. This can be attributed
to councils and managements of the past as well as the present.
The section on mitigating funding deficits with tax increases and water increase
over the next five years is verging on insanity. Along with assessment increase,
which most of us have over the next few years, this does not seem possible and I
would suggest it is not.
This report does have some interesting ways to help fund some of this expense which
has to be considered - levels of service (LOS). The report, of course, says we should
enhance them; but we could of course lower them and save costs. We could implement
operational efficiencies, and we all see this is possible. This is not the end of
it there are other assets not yet in this report that will be coming next year and
All I can say is, we had better be looking for some other municipality to live in
should this even be considered in its entirety. I was always in favour of being
proactive, but this is a bit much, and we can only hope the council of the day will
use a lot of common sense when it comes to this report.
John L Bolt
Port Stanley, ON